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‘We want a better 2012’

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Sports administrators and personalities from around the country have expressed optimism they will have a successful year in their various sporting disciplines.

Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele said they were looking forward to a much-improved football season compared to last year.

“We had a successful season last year. We are hoping it will even be better this year. It is also good because the sponsors we had last year are still on board. We are also expecting to have packages for football fans as we want to have more supporters going to stadiums to watch matches,” he said.

Last year the PSL sealed a deal with Delta Beverages under the Castle Lager brand to sponsor the league and also had the Mbada Diamonds Cup and the BancABC Sup8r Cup.

There was also the NetOne Charity Shield and the Bob 87 Super Cup and they could be clinching a television rights deal with SuperSport International anytime soon.

FC Platinum secretary-general Philemon Muvengwa said they were hoping to improve on last year’s performance.

“I do not have much to say except that we are planning to do better than we did last year,” he said.

FC Platinum had an impressive debut in the PSL as they came second behind Dynamos, losing out on goal difference. They will represent the country in the Caf Champions League.

Veteran boxing coach Phillip “Striker” Ndlovu said they were expecting to get professional tournaments this year.

“The boxers always train very hard, but there are no promoters so they do not fight. They have the passion for the sport, but sponsorship is a huge problem. We are hoping to have professional fights in Bulawayo,” he said.

Last year only one professional fight was held in Bulawayo. Zimbabwe heavyweight champion Thamsanqa Dube was stripped off his WBA Pan-African belt as he failed to defend his title.

Zimbabwe Netball Association president Leticia Chipandu bemoaned the lack of sponsorship in the league, but said they were hoping for a good season.

“We do not have sponsorship, but we are expecting to have a better season as we are trying to talk to several companies to sponsor the national league,” she said.

Dynamos midfielder Denver Mukamba said he was already preparing hard for the next season as well as the Champions League.

“I am preparing for the next season. I want Dynamos to be the number one team and win the league again. I am also happy because I will be playing in the Champions League again. I am hoping we will get to the final of the Champions League this year,” he said.

Zimbabwe Cricket managing director Ozias Bvute said the main aim was to raise the level of the sport.

“We hope to continue improving cricket. We have challenges that we face, but we have to overcome them. We hope to get an improvement in all teams that represent the country under Zimbabwe Cricket,” he said.

Zifa vice-president Ndumiso Gumede said: “We are out of Afcon 2012, but we must start preparing for Afcon 2013 in South Africa. We have the chance to prepare fully. The Mighty Warriors will also be playing Botswana in the African Women Championships qualifiers so we do not have time to rest.

“We are also hoping that we will resolve the Asiagate and Zimgate matters before the start of the 2012 football season. We do not want any disruptions when the season starts.”

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